Recipe of the week - Homemade Nutella


Everybody loves Nutella. It's creamy, sweet, and is packed with calories. Not the best choice for dieting. There is a healthier option - a homemade spread similar to Nutella, actually much nicer and an excellent choice for a bit of fuel to start off a long ride/run.

Here is the homemade version with tips on how to improve it:

Ingredients

Homemade Nutella
  • fresh toasted hazelnuts - 250 grams (9 ounces)
  • cocoa powder or powdered cocoa beans -  3 heap tablespoons
  • coconut milk - 150 milliliters (5 liquid ounces)
  • honey - 3 tablespoons
  • rum extract - 2 tablespoons (you can use vanilla extract, but I prefer the rum)
  • a pinch of salt


Preparation

Before starting, note that your homemade Nutella will have a chunky texture compared to the store bought one. This is simply because nobody has industrial grade blenders/food processors at home. But the taste is much lighter and more fun.

Hint about the cocoa powder vs cocoa beans: cocoa beans carry the cocoa oils and aroma of a fine dark chocolate with them. Cocoa powder has been dried and all the cocoa oils extracted from it. The flavor of powdered cocoa beans is worlds away from the cocoa powder.

Peel the brown skin shell of the cocoa beans, you want only the dark, almost black center. The skin shell is dry - to remove it squash a few cocoa beans against each other in your fist. This will crack the shell and make it easier for you to remove it. Put the peeled cocoa beans in a powerful blender or a coffee grinder and pulverize them - as fine as you can. The cocoa beans will release oils as they are ground, so at the end you'll end up with sort of a fine paste. Stop grinding when the paste forms, otherwise the blender motor will overheat.

Toast the hazelnuts at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) in the oven for 15 minutes. Let them cool just a little and peel them by rubbing the hazelnuts against each other in your hands. Some people use a dry towel to rub the hazelnuts. Whichever style you prefer, you need to peel them clean. Put them in the most powerful blender you have. Blend them in as fine powder as you can. Just as the cocoa beans, the hazelnuts will release oils and turn the hazelnut powder into paste which troubles the blender motor. The more powerful the blender, the finer the hazelnut powder before the motor starts complaining

Combine the blended cocoa and hazelnuts in one blender. Add the honey, coconut milk, rum and salt. Blend well. Put it in a container and keep it in the fridge. Enjoy!

Hint for improving - instead of rum or vanilla extract, try adding 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier Liqueur. The orange flavor works wonders with the cocoa beans

Final Hint - For best taste, let the mix rest for an hour before tasting - this will allow all the flavors to combine with each other.

Is it better than the store bought? Tell us in the comments!

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About Bozidar Spirovski

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